Dispatches

This is Nachvak Fjord

Just imagine how incredible it would be to kayak or canoe here.

This is Nachvak Fjord, it was formed by a colossal glacier that slowly carved a path through the Torngat Mountains as it shifted towards the sea during the last ice age. Just imagine how incredible it would be to kayak or canoe here.

Photo by John Higdon

 

March 18, 2013, 1:40 p.m.

Absolutely Beautiful Lighthouses

And a few absolutely beautiful lighthouses :D

 

Newfoundland and Labrador has over 510,000 people, 500,000 puffins, 120,000 moose, 25,000 gannets, 800 bald eagles, 7 million storm petrels and a few absolutely beautiful lighthouses :D

 

March 18, 2013, 1:40 p.m.

Beautiful Canada

This beautiful and pristine landscape is a testament to nature's profound beauty. 

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ” 

 

― Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above

Newfoundland and Labrador is a perfect expression of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's wisdom. This beautiful and pristine landscape is a testament to nature's profound beauty. 

March 18, 2013, 1:39 p.m.

It Takes Grit

But it's worth it.

The Torngat Mountains National Park is a pristine wilderness landscape—secluded, remote and untouched by mankind. Camping here takes some real grit, but the experience is well worth the sweat and preparation. If you think you are up to the challenge check out the Parks Canada Visitor Guide to see what it takes to camp in the Torngats: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nl/torngats/visit/secur.aspx

Photo Bastien Vaucher 

 

March 18, 2013, 1:39 p.m.

This is Gros Morne National Park

Perfect for a spot of hiking :D

In 1987, the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its geological history and its exceptional scenery, and the park is actually the eroded remnants of a mountain range formed 1.2 billion years ago. Perfect for a spot of hiking :D

Photo by Douglas Sprott 

 

 

Feb. 13, 2013, 12:56 p.m.

Beyond The Tree Line

north of the line

A little known fact about the Torngat Mountains in Canada is that there are no trees to be found. This is because the mountains are located north of the Arctic tree line, which is the edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing. Beyond the tree line, trees cannot tolerate the environmental conditions. Photo: Map The M Factory © Smithsonian Institution

Feb. 8, 2013, 2:32 p.m.

I knew the way

I had to take...

"Suddenly a mist fell from my eyes and I knew the way I had to take."

― Edvard Grieg 

Photo by Douglas Sprott

 

 

Feb. 6, 2013, 3:33 p.m.

Pure Bliss

Being Outdoors is pure bliss.

 

Being Outdoors is pure bliss, and with scenery like this who could disagree. Thank you Newfoundland and Labrador!

Feb. 4, 2013, 11:52 a.m.

Vikings of Newfoundland and Labrador

Some remain to this day!

Nearly 1000 years ago, a stout, high prowed vessel from Greenland cast anchor in an inviting bay somewhere along the coast of North America. Its single square sail was furled, and the 30-man crew stepped ashore. Enchanted by what they saw, the newcomers decided to stay. And some remain to this day!

 

Jan. 18, 2013, 11:33 a.m.

Quad Biking Across Newfoundland and Labrador

A particularly tricky situation

Trekking across Newfoundland and Labrador via quad bike introduces some unique obstacles. For example, when gravity produces a particularly tricky situation for traversing a hill. Easy does it Outpost Magazine.

 

Jan. 14, 2013, 10:09 a.m.

The Great Outdoors

No comparison to seeing them up close.

At Outpost Magazine absolutely adore the great outdoors. The peace and serenity of such powerful natural landscapes do wonders for the spirit—but there is no comparison to seeing them up close.

 

 

Jan. 11, 2013, 9:47 a.m.

Earth and Sky

They teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."

John Lubbock 

 

Jan. 10, 2013, 9:51 a.m.

Wind Power

And on this beautiful day the skies were blue and the clouds were few.

Mankind has harnessed the power of wind for thousands of years. And on this beautiful day the skies were blue and the clouds were few—it was the perfect opportunity for Outpost to test out our paraskiing equipment. 

 

 

 

Jan. 9, 2013, 9:51 a.m.

Thoughts Flow

Henry David Thoreau would have loved this!

 

"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow." Henry David Thoreau would have loved this!

 

Jan. 8, 2013, 9:59 a.m.

Peace and Calm: Newfoundland and Labrador

And just when you think you have seen everything the land has to offer you stumble across this

If anyone asks you what peace and calm looks like, just show them this picture. The diverse and infinite landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador never cease to amaze. And just when you think you have seen everything the land has to offer you stumble across this—serenty manifest in nature.

 

 

Jan. 7, 2013, 9:48 a.m.

A Perfect Moment

Who could resist photographing such a perfect moment?

Sometimes nature graces you with a perfect photo opportunity. In this case, we had to oblige nature's generous gesture by snapping a shot of this rainbow curving over this stunning waterfall. Who could resist photographing such a perfect moment? Certainly not Outpost!

Jan. 4, 2013, 9:59 a.m.

Torngat Diaries – Episode 24

The Lake

Try to close your eyes and visualize yourself on a landscape that never ends, climbing, feeling the sweat getting colder because of the breeze. You aren't feeling cold, you are concentrated and in your mind there is nothing else that the sound of your steps, the power of your legs is there, stronger and stronger every second. The sun makes the sky blue like never before, and the hike is simply a pleasure that makes everything else disappear.

We are trying to reach the top of a mountain to have some shots of the landscape from a higher view point. While climbing I see rocks rolling down and let's say that we didn't get the safest path, but it's okay, we have a lot of energy and all the food delivered is simply giving us the rush to reach our next point, stop, set up the cameras for some time lapse and feast like never before! The problem with "going up" is that obviously there will be less water, and the idea of having to come all the way down for every single refill for cooking, tea or drinking. Though we’re on a hike, when you stop, you really want to relax and so you find a rock that is the closest thing to a couch, take off your shoes, get out some food…and the idea of having to put your shoes back on and go all the way down a cliff for some water?!

Every now and then, there are unusual, unexpected surprises! After our last push, looking  at the landscape, we spot a lot of water—and I mean a lot of water—suddenly the hunger goes away and a wicked thought comes up strong. I grab all my stuff and I pull up my tent fast like the wind and rush to the lake. I just have my boxers on and I really don't care about anything else. Camera is sitting atop tripod, clicking away at preset intervals, capturing moments of time just to document how the light and the sky move over the land, slithering across the mountains and the tundra, even when you can’t see it. 

And I’m thinking, why not take a little dip? The water is cold, but it’s been about almost six days since I’ve showered and it feels fantastic against my skin.

Dec. 7, 2012, 9:56 a.m.

Torngat Diaries – Episode 23

Getting Serious!

Waking up at 5 a.m., today I just have the feeling it’s to be a tough day, mostly because I can almost feel the phantom weight of that backpack. I’m running a bit low on energy as I roll out of the sleeping bag and into the day, and in the morning’s chill am suddenly yearning for a nice, warm shower. After five days of trekking and sweating and see-sawing between sweat and chills, it starts to feel serious.

 

Most of the tents are already down, I’m the last with mine up, but am not worried. I know that my little tent can be folded in seconds—it takes more time to fold my sleeping bag! Spreading some jam and peanut butter on some bread, making myself a nice, thick sandwich which is full of protein and sugar and energy, and my body starts to come really awake. In just a few minutes I feel ready to go.

 

The sun is shining bright this morning, and I can feel too that the hike this time will be intense. We start with a fast pace, not really caring about a specific direction; we know we’re going south, and if we run into a mountain we’ve decided we’re going to climb it! No rest, no pause, just a fast pace, aiming to get as fast as possible to the next stop.

 

But as the morning fades, we realized we’re running out of food, out of tea, out of energy bars. When you don’t have to worry about water on expedition, as we don’t here in the Torngats, food starts to become your biggest concern. And when you want to try a new path, as we were doing today, for safety you have to factor in the variables: length and time for example, can expand and contract unexpectedly in a place like this, and relying on an abundance of blueberries wasn’t a wise choice!

 

Eli and Andrew are searching for a radio signal; hopefully, they can get through to calling Base Camp to request extra food. (Think this is cheating?—it’s just, how can you experience the beauty of the Torngats on a gnawing stomach, or without a meal with proper calories so you can stop to take it all in?

 

From Base Camp Gary’s voice suddenly crackles over the speaker. After making sure we’re all fine, Andrew asks for a bit of food—some peanut butter, chocolate bars, pop, bread and tea. And soon, we’re lucky enough to have our supplies replenished when a helicopter makes a pit stop to our Torngat tundra spot. The crew even alights just to shake Team Outpost’s hand. Way too cool, and some kind of hospitality!

Dec. 3, 2012, 10:57 a.m.

Torngat Diaries – Episode 22

Eli Kicks it Harder Than Anybody.

Getting to stay at Base Camp is spectacular, and having a chance to organize such an adventure almost makes you feel like you’re in a movie. Everybody helped brainstorm ideas about the route we would take, the time it would require. But Eli took charge of planning the path we would follow. His knowledge of the land goes far beyond maps and GPS devices. Gary Baikie of Parks Canada tells me that Eli “just knows the land,” and I didn’t get it when he said it…didn’t know what that meant…until I had the chance to hike with Eli. Gary was right.

Eli tells me he has his own CD (and I’m impressed), and I can imagine it easily. His voice sings songs of old in Inuktitut, and he graces many photos related to Torngat Mountains National Park and the Nunatsiavut government. He doesn’t talk a lot, is reserved, and at 57 (almost 58) is supremely tough—I mean really tough!

On the path through the mountains he is focused, vigilant on anything that moves in the distance. Hiking side by side I came to understand and to see what Gary meant. Eli tried to teach me something in Inuttitut, but he sort of gave up after the third day. Andrew tried too, but except for a couple of good laughs, I don’t think I impressed my teachers! Here I am, implying I didn’t learn a thing on my journey in the Torngats. But of course that’s not true...I got more that I wanted: Eli and Andrew (Nakurmiik), thank you!

Nov. 30, 2012, 9:56 a.m.

Torngat Diaries – Episode 21

What About a Nice Hike?!

The fog and the rain just don’t want to leave us alone. There’s no reason to continue on our original track if there is no way to bring back the great material we’ve come to suss out—we’re trying to bring back (and to you!) fabulous photos and footage of this greenish-bluish-brownish big land—and that’s when we decide to spend at least a full day by the lake, hoping for a clear sky.

But a whole day without anything to do is way too long! Andrew just finished his morning tea, Eli is reaching for a second cup, adding sugar, stirring and looking at us, almost like waiting for instructions. Andrew looks across the west side of the lake, just over my tent, and nods to me. I turn my head and look toward the tent, and my eyes go just a little bit further: why not? A full day free from our trekking schedule…means one full day for a small hike! No backpacks, no equipment, just a walk really, with a light shell, a little camera—just in case the weather changes, I am always prepared!—and some granola bars. Now, that was easy.

Nov. 29, 2012, 10:38 a.m.

Untouched

A virgin land, untouched by humans.

 

Stunning, brilliant and awe-inspiring—a virgin land, untouched by humans. Outpost Magazine was there.

 

 

Nov. 28, 2012, 2:25 p.m.

Torngat Diaries – Episode 20

And the Tent Goes Up

Slowly our backpacks go down and our tents go up, as the fog and the clouds decide not to give us any rest. My camera lenses are not able to do anything against such thick fog. I start putting up the fire, filling up the kettle with water, preparing my meal—against the backdrop of silence that is so loud. Thin rain falls slowly from the sky; not enough to wet our clothes, but good enough to feel it on my skin.

This time my meal will be rice and mushrooms—we’re talking about dry food cuisine lovers, don’t get too excited. The Torngats is a place where you have to keep your camera ready at all times, because the clouds and the fog can change in seconds, giving you the best shot ever just when you were least prepared, least expecting it.

Supper with Eli and Andrew is always great, the stories of their lives, how hard it is to live up here, are fascinating: they are stories of traditions, of hunting, of fishing, and they bring us back to another, almost ancient time. I discover that a big Inuksuk that’s close to the mouth of the river we are going to follow has been built by Eli...can a story get any better than that?! 

Our tents are up and standing under the rain; my equipment is protected—at least I hope so—on the top of a little hill. I am hoping to get a nice morning shot…and even if there’s no shot, at least there’s a nice view!

Nov. 27, 2012, 10:59 a.m.

Time immortalized

Time immortalized in stone.

Tremendous ash hills jut out across the landscape, offering explorers a glimpse into ancient Earth—time immortalized in stone. 

 

Nov. 27, 2012, 10:57 a.m.

Imagine It

Green grass, white flowers, azure water and ashen rocks that stretch into the mountainous horizon.

 

 

Imagine a vivid natural landscape: green grass, white flowers, azure water and ashen rocks that stretch into the mountainous horizon—now see it:

 

 

Nov. 23, 2012, 9:48 a.m.

Water, Ever Flowing

Nature’s ever-flowing essence.

Water—the supreme precursor of life. Nature’s ever-flowing essence, which it gladly shares—bringing life to the forest.  

 

Nov. 22, 2012, 10:12 a.m.

Torngat Diaries – Episode 19

Aussie Inuit: Tough with a Big Smile!

Red hair, pale skin, freckles and a big smile; but don’t let this mislead you. Andrew is Inuit and tough, and with enough Aussie in him that for sure makes him unique! He is learning Inuttitut, the Nunatsiavummiut dialect, and can speak it and understand it clearly—and he’s getting better and better. 

Something he can definitely teach are hunting, fishing and hiking—he has quite some skills there—and trust me, you don’t want to see him in action; he gets scary, especially when the risk of a bear attack is in the air! In the short time that I have come to know him he strikes me as a very authentic person, the kind who gives more than he ever takes, whose concern for the environment is genuine: he is there to protect, preserve and enhance the beauty of his culture and of his land, this big land! Good job, Andrew Andersen—keep it up!

 

Nov. 21, 2012, 11:45 a.m.

Wave Riders

Watch out for that paddle! 

Outpost Torngat displays their exceptional coordination and paddling abilities by promptly being ejected from the raft.

Nov. 20, 2012, 11:27 a.m.

Glamour Shot

Awwwww   

 

Our lovely Team Outpost Torngat companion poses for a glamour shot.   

 

Nov. 16, 2012, 10:05 a.m.

Blue, Green and White

An invitation we could not refuse.

The landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador never cease to amaze. During our expedition it began to almost seem like the entire province was opening up and inviting us to capture these dramatic landscapes. It was an invitation we could not refuse.

Nov. 14, 2012, 1:03 p.m.

Red Skies at Night, Photographer's Delight

Feast your eyes!

 

 

The colours of this scene are a rare combination of a quick photography—and luck.

 

Nov. 13, 2012, 5:34 p.m.

The Deepest Shade of Blue

Azure blue water.

The beautiful blue water of Saglek Bay near Torngat Mountains National Park takes our breath away.

Nov. 8, 2012, 12:52 p.m.

The View at Valhalla Bed & Breakfast

Breathtaking beauty.

This picture of the view at Valhalla Bed & Breakfast in Newfoundland and Labrador is as close to perfect as you can get—with a camera. 

Nov. 8, 2012, 12:40 p.m.

Goin' Fast!

Looking good!

 

Team Outpost crossing the rugged outdoors at Pirate’s Haven Adventures in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Nov. 7, 2012, 2 p.m.

Episode 12: The Torngat Diaries

And this is where our Torngat trekking starts

White beaming icebergs float in the distance, perfectly still, fighting against the waves, crashing against them.

One hour later we are leaving Big Island behind (GPS position 58.590560/-62.818193), and I’m here sitting with Joe and Cino, talking and looking overboard, quietly and eagerly hoping to spot a humpback whale, or maybe get so lucky as to see a polar bear close enough for a good shot. Cino is Joe’s little white dog—and he doesn’t leave Joe’s side ever, even when it looks like he’s suffering from the rocking of the boat and rough waters. He’s always there, stoically on Joe’s lap, quietly enduring the seasickness.

Joe has many stories about the ocean and his life, telling me he’s survived his own “perfect storm” and loved the movie of the same name. I go below deck to have a bite, and have a chance to try his world-famous stew: delicious—maybe not really world-famous, but for sure authentic.

It’s 11:20 a.m. (GPS position 58.910193/-63.058926), and we turn west for Nachvak Fjord. My last moments on board the Robert Bradford are spent stuffing my backpack with any kind of energy bar, dry food and supplies that I can find. Mission accomplished: but boy, my backpack is really heavy!



By 13:10 p.m. (1:10) we are at 58.858823/-63.295025. And this is where our Torngat trekking starts. But that’s another page of my diary! Stay tuned.

Oct. 2, 2012, 4:19 p.m.

Episode 11: The Torngat Diaries - Aboard the Robert Bradford

On route to Nachvak Fjord

The longliner is sitting in Saglek Bay, waiting for us to board. No wind here to rustle the surface of the water, and after a deep long breath I feel prepared to go. A small red boat takes me out to the Robert Bradford (the longliner); Joe Webb (who is co-captain) is there, silent while he turns the knob of the engine, the only sound on this crisp perfect morning. On deck is a man with a baseball cap and cool shades, and just as that’s semi-registering in my mind strong hands grab my heavy backpack and camera equipment and start loading them on the boat. In just minutes we are ready to leave—the rhythmic sound of the engine starts to rumble, the longliner moves slowly toward the open ocean, and the still surface of the fjord is now broken by our sliding waves.

It’s a five-hour boat ride up the coast from Saglek Bay (where Base Camp is located) to Nachvak Fjord, where we’ll launch our Torngat trek. (It’s August 16 at 7:20 a.m., and our GPS position is 58.454315/-62.796693). Beams of sun start to make the air warmer, and the clouds are literally drifting out of the sky, giving the gift of clear blue across what feels like an endless horizon. We are travelling at 9 knots per hour and our direction is north. Soon, the Labrador Sea starts roiling ever so slightly, and the rocking of the boat increases.

As I’m staring into the horizon from the deck, suddenly Joe looks over at us and says, “Over there.” Almost as if in slow motion, we spot a few polar bears looking at us from the shore—though at first they’re hard to see, the rocks they’re hanging near are burned white from the elements, and Joe and Eli have to keep pointing them out to me. “There, can you see them?”

First time I’ve ever seen a polar bear, and I have to say wow, they’re spectacular! (I’m from Italy—coastal Mediterranean Italy—and seeing a polar bear is the polar opposite of my experience.) I grab the telephoto because to the naked eye they’re just too far in the distance, and then…Pow! As I’m looking through the lens one stands up on his hind legs, his longish body completely stretched out. I can see him perfectly, and I swear he’s looking right at me!

Polar bears are extremely alert and sensitive to their surroundings, says Eli, scouting out their environments, always sniffing around, so to speak, to see what’s going on. The sound of our engine bubbles loudly in this otherwise stone-silent land and has caught their attention.

Eli says that because things are changing up here and further north—the weather, the ice flow, food availability—the polar bears here are migrating southward down Labrador, and are swimming longer distances in their search for food, going so far south as the coastline of Newfoundland.

Incredible. As Joe’s longliner motors up the coast the bears are back down on all fours, having turned their backs, they begin to walk away.

 

Oct. 1, 2012, 6:07 p.m.

Episode 10: The Torngat Diaries: GPS Tracking!

GPS-locate spots and destinations along route to be in the adventure!

As David disembarks into Torngat Mountains National Park, follow along as he and inReach Canada track every step of his Torngat trek after landing by longliner in Nachvak Fjord. Each daily diary dispatch will GPS-locate spots and destinations along route within the park, via an inReach Canada device. David will even embed specific GPS coordinates in the text of each entry so you can pinpoint his progress, and maybe even get an idea or two for your own Torngat Mountains adventure!

Sept. 30, 2012, 1:53 p.m.

The Spirit of Newfoundland

Open your heart wide

I’m sitting on the bed in a hotel room in Gander, Newfoundland. It’s early morning, and we’re scheduled to fly home this afternoon. I’m looking forward to seeing my family, but at the same time a tad sad to be leaving this place.

Throughout our journey, we have met so many people, made so many friends, shared so many stories, experiences and paths. I must have said this before, but with all its majestic beauty, rugged coastlines, endless forests, beautiful mountains and big skies, the most special thing about this big land is its people—nowhere will you find more kind and friendly faces as in Newfoundland and Labrador!

So, when you decide to visit, just be prepared to open your heart wide, because the spirit of Newfoundland and Labrador will change you forever. I know it has for me.

Sept. 24, 2012, 9:22 a.m.

An Inland Haven

We could smell the sea and the woods as we hiked the trail

We spent a great afternoon in the wilderness of Terra Nova National Park in eastern Newfoundland. The park is special because it possesses some very distinctive natural characteristics: the entire area has very deep bays that come far inland from the sea; and the geography creates a unique environment where flora and fauna have adapted and thrived.

Long ago during the winter, early settlers navigated their fishing boats inland to safety, away from the exposed coastal area. Over the winter months, they focused on hunting and repairing their boats and equipment. We could smell the sea and the woods as we hiked the pristine coastal trail. The weather was great, so we visited several locations in the park.

The views from Blue Hill West Trail were fantastic, we could see for miles and miles in every direction. We also climbed up a fire tower on Ochre Hill and took in another breathtaking vista—it was so much so that we decided to stay on the hill for a while, taking photos, enjoying the cool wind coming from the northeast, and watching the sun set in the west. It was a perfect end to our Newfoundland journey.

Sept. 21, 2012, 6:17 p.m.

Stairway to Heaven

At the risk of sounding redundant, I have to say it again: this place is beautiful!

 

After having a great lunch at By The Sea Resort & Café in King's Point, we were ready for some afternoon action. We head down to the trailhead of the Alexander Murray Hiking Trail (right in the town of King’s Point, Nfld). At about 8 kilometres in length, and with a 1,200-foot summit and 2,200-stairs in total (both up and down), the trail is physically challenging just enough, and rewards with breathtaking vistas. 

After putting on my hiking boots and filling my water bottle we head out. The weather was great for a hike—the sun was shining and the air was fresh. We make our way through dense forest and bush along the clearly marked trail. After a while, the trail follows the river. The grade slowly increases and the really steep sections are made easier by a system of stairways. Of course, the steps on the stairways seem to multiply exponentially the closer we get to the base of the mountain—but that’s just my imagination, and half the fun!

Along the way we stop to view a majestic waterfall that drops from about 600-feet up— stunning. We continue up as the dense forest gives way to lichen-covered rocky outcrops and windswept low-lying vegetation. By this point, the sun is low on the horizon and we can see in every direction for miles—all of Green Bay, and the open waters right to the horizon There are mountains and forests, for miles and miles.

The view is incredible, totally worth the hike! We sit there quietly on the summit’s viewing platform with the Newfoundland and Labrador flag flapping vibrantly in the wind above us. Again, words escape me...but at the risk of sounding redundant, I just have to say it: this place really is beautiful!

Sept. 21, 2012, 10:01 a.m.

Navigating History

Thanks for the time travelling boat ride, Chuck

After getting some much needed rest in the beautiful Inn At Happy Adventure on the Eastport Peninsula, we had a nice breakfast and met with owner and guide, Chuck Matchim. After chatting for a while in the lovely dining room overlooking Happy Adventure Bay, Chuck brings us out to open waters for a morning boat ride.

He navigates around sheer cliffs, into a narrow cave and several secluded bays, telling us tales of pirates, surrounding communities and his youth. He even navigates his way into Smokey Bay, a long ago favourite pirate hideaway. Legend has it that pirates called it Smokey Bay because it was code for “small key”—whereby fellow sailors (or pirates) were to look for a small rocky island on the northeast entrance to the bay that had two holes—one large, one small—and resembled a keyhole. That was their sign this was a safe hideaway!  (Small key = Smokey: get it?)

After more exploring, we stop for sandwiches next to a stack of crab pots on the shores of a secluded bay, and then check out one of Newfoundland’s oldest communities, the Town of Salvage. Afterwards, while jetting on Chuck’s powerful Zodiac I keep looking at the coastline and imagining the first sailors and settlers who navigated these waters, seeing what I was seeing. I wonder what their challenges were, what supplies they had with them to start their lives here, and how their lives changed from the moment they stepped onto this land.

Thanks for the time-travelling boat ride Chuck—it’s been a blast!

 

Sept. 20, 2012, 1:17 p.m.

Whale of a Tale

It’s impressive, even though the tail is missing!

While we were in King’s Point, we wandered into the beautiful Dr. Jon Lien Humpback Whale Pavilion.

In 2001, a dead humpback whale was found on the shores near Cobb’s Arm. Members of the King's Point Heritage Society decided to retrieve and preserve the bones, and create an interpretive centre for both locals and visitors to the area to see and learn from.

The whale was towed back to the village, and volunteers began the arduous task of removing the flesh off the bones. Recounting the story, our guide tells us that the smell of the dead carcass was overwhelming, often unbearable, making the effort one of great commitment!

The volunteers let the ocean take care of the rest—they placed all the bones in crates and left them in the water for a year, allowing the ocean’s own residents to pick the bones clean. Afterwards the bones were sent to dinosaur skeleton-building experts in Alberta for recognition, restoration and assembly.

What we see this morning is the result of all that hard work, and I must say, it’s impressive! Even though the tail is missing (there are no bones in the tail), the skeleton gives you a good idea of the scale of these majestic creatures. Several interactive stations teach about humpback whale characteristics, diet and behaviour. If you’re ever in the Green Bay area, make sure not to miss out on this fascinating exhibit.

Sept. 19, 2012, 6:26 p.m.

What a Rush!

Sometimes, you have to push yourself to see what you’re made of 

Badger run river rafting! No rollercoaster can give you this kind of a rush, wow! After waking up well rested in a beautiful chalet, generously offered to us by Paul and Joy Rose of Canyon Adventures and Riverfront Rafting & Chalets, we had a quick breakfast and met up at the raft shack to get outfitted and go through safety procedures.

We all got into a converted school bus and drove upstream about 10 kilometres to the put-in point along the Exploits River. We were sharing this experience with a bunch of thrill seekers, including a great group of people from the military. We got into the rafts and started heading downstream. The water was flowing at a lazy pace, and I thought, this looks too easy!

Until the guides decided to liven it up by playing a few fun games on the rafts. Falling in the river was usually the result for the loser; our army friends were having a great time and probably spent more time in the water than in the rafts! Well, the calm waters didn’t last long, as the water got choppier and developed into smaller rapids—awesome! 

Pretty soon we were negotiating some heavy rapids and getting soaked or completely dumped in the water, grabbing onto the ropes on the sides of the raft for dear life—crazy, but loads of fun. We pulled up on shore near a rocky outcropping over some serious rapids, and then decided to go for a little swim—right in the rapids!

The idea is to jump straight into the water, let the rapids take you somewhat downstream, and then swim to safety. As the rapids here are an eddy, they swirl around almost in a circle—meaning the current may take you out, but will also pull you back to shore all on its own. I’m sitting on the rocks watching all this (taking photos) when Paul points to me. I think—this is crazy—especially after he asks me if I’m a strong swimmer, as if it’s a harbinger of things to come (luckily I am). Conquering my fear, I decide to do it and jump right in. I go down, come up for a few seconds, gasp at air, go back down but come up again, then drift quickly with the current. Now it’s time to swim, swim, swim back!

After getting back into the rafts, we continue negotiating heavy rapids, fall out of our rafts a few more times (so much fun!), try to surf the rapids and attempt nose dunks (trying to get the front of the raft pinned in the rapids, which thrusts its back vertically into the air).

We stop for a healthy lunch on a small rocky island; soaking wet, but very energized. This has been a great day. Throughout the whole river run, we had complete confidence in the highly qualified river guides at Canyon Adventures and Riverfront Rafting & Chalets. This was an amazing experience; it forced me to do some crazy stuff, yes, but sometimes you have to push yourself to see what you’re made of. Remember, you’re always stronger than you think. River rafting on the Exploits River. Try it, you’ll love it! Take a peek at Canyon Adventures and Riverfront Rafting & Chalets for more information.

Sept. 18, 2012, 11:14 a.m.

Unexpected Inspiration

Walking out full of inspiration

We arrived in King's Head late in the morning, King’s Head is a small community nestled on the shores of beautiful Green Bay in northeastern Newfoundland. We were here to visit King's Point Pottery, a small pottery gallery, store and workshop. After pulling up, we walked in and were greeted by Linda Yates, who gave us a very informative tour. Linda and her husband, David Hayashida, have been inspired by this place for years, and by looking around you can tell they've been very busy!

Every shelf contains beautiful handcrafted works made by Linda, David and many other Maritime province artisans. King's Point Pottery is a place where you can buy that unique earthenware art piece to bring back home—beautiful stuff! David brings his Japanese style into the designs and techniques. One of these techniques utilizes seawater, which yields incredible results. If you’re ever in this neighbourhood, come visit—I can guarantee you’ll be walking out full of inspiration, and maybe a wonderful piece of art.

Sept. 17, 2012, 9:41 a.m.

Free Like the Wind

White bears fly 

Feeling the wind blowing across our faces reminds us of its power, our attempts to control it, and how it drifts away and leaves everything behind. The colours and flaps of the kite seem to billow like clouds in the sky, against the backdrop of a stunning sun, capturing the power of the wind. We are literally being pulled toward adventure!

This is kite boarding, where that thing you did as a child—running across the field trying to keep a kite in the sky!—is suddenly the coolest thing to do as an adult.

Except this time you’re on boards in the water, as a flapping sky-high kite (hopefully!) is pulling you across the surface. Think of it as a winter sport, of having a slick pair of skis under your feet, sliding across a surface at 100 kilometres per hour. You have to come to Newfoundland and Labrador to discover just how powerful the wind can be, and just how much fun it is to embrace it! Just ask White Bear Adventures in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Labrador.

Sept. 13, 2012, 6:44 p.m.

I Don’t Walk the Plank

And nor should you!

Clearly, the ATV’s engine doesn’t fear water, rain or mountains. And its wheels act as if they can tackle and climb anything. Alex and I (David here!) are at Pirate’s Haven Chalets and Adventures, and I’m excited to be trading my trademark two-wheeler (I’m a long-time avid cyclist) for a four-wheeler with a little power. I am so used to self-propelled pedal power that I almost forgot what an engine feels like! 

Our hosts really know the landscape of their environment—we go fast, and reach incredible views after travelling over rough paths. The excitement of steering the ATV through mud,  water and woods reminds me of my old days as a dirt bike rider (yes, I was a dirt bike rider!). Dirt biking can be fun, but I have to admit, it would be a difficult ride on these very challenging trails.

On an ATV, however, it’s a whole different story: with a little control, and guided by Paul’s great experience and tutorial, anybody can do it. When you succeed, you’ll be dubbed a “Pirate,” and if you’re a “Pirate” you don’t have to walk the plank. (Well, that’s not really true.)

But speaking of walking, you can also trek the trails here at Pirate’s Haven Chalets and Adventures, bike, fish for salmon and trout, and just camp. Thanks Paul, Ruth and all you wicked pirates!

Sept. 12, 2012, 5:18 p.m.

It’s 100 km to the Nearest Gas Station

In a world moving so fast, it’s nice to know some places go at their own pace

We’ve been driving along the Trans-Canada Highway through forests and mountains as far as the eye can see, carefully negotiating the high winds and heavy rains of what remains of Hurricane Leslie.

Even now, Newfoundland feels and looks amazing! “I don’t know about you, Dave, but I’m starving,” I say (I’m Alex). We spot a gas station with a restaurant down the road and pull in. We walk in and order some food, then take a look around this intriguing little place we've unexpectedly come across in our travels.

As I look around, I notice how peaceful it is, nothing fancy, just a roadside diner. Everyone is very nice and the food is fine, but the thing that strikes me is the vintage-like quality of our surroundings.

This diner really is retro—it’s not trying to be deliberately hip, but because of that, it really sort of is. I feel like we’ve travelled back to the 1950s: the walls, the kitchen, the utensils, even the placemats, have that retro feel.

The folks here are as genuine as you could ever hope to meet, in your entire life. In a world that’s moving so fast, it’s nice to know that some places are determined to be and move at their own unique pace, true to themselves.

Sept. 12, 2012, 3:13 p.m.

Water, Rain, Fjords, Bogs...

No problem for my TEVA Reforge Ionmask!

 

 

Just a small 3-kilometre trail to hike to Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park to reach the spot where we begin our boat tour. The weather is fantastic, even though we know Hurricane Leslie is on its way. Though we know there’s a chance the boat tour will be cancelled, we persist. Team Outpost doesn’t stop for a bit of rain and wind!

The trail is not really a hike at all; it’s more a hearty walk (almost anyone can do it!) along a boardwalk surrounded by limestone rock and bogs, with information points along the route to learn about the topography, flora and history of this area and Western Brook Pond, which, by the way, is really a fjord—a long narrow inlet surrounded by walls of rock.

While walking to the Parks Canada access point, I’m determined to take photos of the landscape. But to do so I must leave the boardwalk and go directly into the bog (a spongy wetland with plants and mosses). My TEVA shoes get wet—but I know they’ve been designed and built to resist water, so I trust them and venture into the middle of the bog. No problem at all!

Picture taken and back on track. At the access point we get ready to board the boat, and find a group of some new friends we had made at the Valhalla Bed and Breakfast—good to see our fellow adventurers out on the land.

The fjord is absolutely majestic. Floating on the crystal water, our boat struggles against strong winds and we are constantly sprayed with waves crashing on its sides. The deck of the boat is now full of water and we are all dripping wet—it’s incredibly refreshing and invigorating.

By the time we’re back at our car, ready to hit the road for our next adventure, we are pretty much dry—I think from the strong winds announcing the arrival of Hurricane Leslie. We, like the hearty people of Newfoundland and Labrador, are more than ready!

Sept. 12, 2012, 2:48 p.m.

Western Brook Pond

In Gros Morne lies the purest water in the world

Located right in the heart of Gros Morne National Park is this spectacular lake, though ironically it’s called Western Brook Pond (and it’s also a fjord!). 

We’re told that the water in the lake is among the purest in the world, fed by more than 20 mountain streams that cascade down sheer cliffs, like you see in the photo.

The granite of these cliffs and surrounding rock erodes slowly, creating minimal sediment, and because the tops of these small rock mountains have little vegetation, there’s little organic matter that flows into the water. The lake has also been spared by pollution because it is surrounded by wilderness.

Sept. 12, 2012, 1:46 p.m.

Searching for Whales—Finding Friends

This is Newfoundland

Back to the Zodiac: a shy sun was looking down at us on a warm morning while the Atlantic Ocean lay sleepy under our boat. Our mission was to capture some amazing shots of whales  With us on our Zodiac were two women from Germany who had travelled from across the pond, so to speak, to see what Newfoundland, The Rock, had to offer. Well, they found what we found!

Steep, dramatic cliffs; waves crashing along coastal shores; rugged rocky flatlands and boreal bogs; skies so clear at the northern tip of Newfoundland that every detail seems as if its been put sharply in focus.

Since we started our Torngat Adventure in early August, I have discovered just how much this land is connected to the ocean, and how much the ocean and the land connect the people together. Just like I now felt to my two new friends.

No whales were spotted that day—this is nature, unpredictable and on her own schedule—but three people did become new friends. This is Newfoundland.

Sept. 11, 2012, 6:20 p.m.

Zippin' Down the Valley

An exhilarating experience for anyone!

I woke up this morning in a beautiful room at the Glynmill Inn in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. We knew that a storm was coming, and forecasts were bang on when I looked out the window—pouring rain. Dave and I are thinking the same thing: are we still going ziplining?

I make a quick call to Marble Zip Tours (MZT) just to confirm, and they let me know we're good to go, great! This is going to be awesome. Well, let me tell you, I could write a two-page description of this experience, but my words would not do it justice. Once we were there, Reg Flynn and Daniel Kean set us up with safety harnesses and helmets, and drove us up the mountain to the first launch platform.

After Greg gave us a quick tutorial on safe operating instructions, we were ready to go. Hooked up to the cable, we run down the ramp and suddenly we're flying over the most spectacular waterfall in the stunning Humber Valley. This is real life IMAX! Other than parachuting, this must be the closest feeling to flying you can get! We go through nine ziplines over the gorge, all the way back to the chalet. This experience is exhilarating, and what's most great about it is that anyone can do it. I need to bring my family to try this one!

 

Sept. 11, 2012, 6:06 p.m.

The Moose and Caribou of Newfoundland

Curious facts

Moose were introduced to the island of Newfoundland in 1878. Today, there is a population of more than 4,800 in Gros Morne National Park alone. The woodland caribou, on the other hand, is actually a member of the deer family, and the only indigenous deer on the island. We are told that herds can sometimes be seen crossing the Western Brook Pond  in the winter, and scrambling back up the valley to the tundra-like table lands. 

Sept. 11, 2012, 5:50 p.m.

The Bogs

Where the scenery reminds me of Lord of the Rings

This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! But besides the spectacular views and stunning mountains, I just loved the low lying coniferous vegetation and the bogs we crossed on the 3-kilometre trail to the boat launch. The scenery reminds me of the kind you see in Lord of the Rings. A must-see stop for anybody planning a trip to Newfoundland!

Sept. 11, 2012, 5:48 p.m.

Visting the S.S. Ethie

Ships telling old stories

Toay we visited the shipwreck S.S. Ethie, a coastal trade ship driven both by steam and sail. She ran aground during a horrible storm in 1919. All 92 passengers were saved, including a baby sent ashore in a mailbag! Not much remains of the ship today, but we did bump into a gentleman who told us that he used to play in the hull of the ship when he was a child.

Sept. 10, 2012, 12:14 p.m.

Batten Down the Hatches

The Winds are Blowing!

Crazy winds, black water with white caps and spray on the deck of our boat caused me to loose my sunglasses (I am Alex!), and David (of Team Outpost) lost his hat in Western Brook Pond. The wind completely ripped off my hat, which is now destined to rest on the bottom of this beautiful lake forever. Somehow, I don't seem to mind—the experience I got in return is just so much more valuable. Come on, look at that view, look at that water....Just awesome!

Sept. 10, 2012, 9:57 a.m.

Fishing with Louise

First Female Fisherwoman!

If you ever decide to visit Newfoundland, you have to come visit Louise Decker, a wonderful woman full of information on the old fishing ways of Newfoundlanders.

 

 

Louise told us she is the first female fisherwoman in the Lobster Cove area. Apparently, it was once considered bad luck to have females on the boat—but Louise wouldn’t take no for an answer, and convinced her husband that she was sea worthy.

 

 

 

She led a hard but gratifying life with her husband and family for years—today, she works as an interpreter for Parks Canada at the Broom Point Heritage Site. Her charm and friendly personality is something that I’ve noticed from so many people for the past few days.

 

Just that quality alone is worth the trip to Newfoundland.

Sept. 9, 2012, 5:48 p.m.

Driving South

Light hues and shimmering oceans

Last night we drove south until 10:30 p.m., following the Viking trail portion of the Trans-Canada Highway...the same road we drove up in darkness heading north the previous day! We got a chance to see all the small picturesque coastal communities we had missed the night before.

When you drive at dusk, everything takes on a special hue. Light plays tricks on your eyes, the ocean shimmers in grey and silver, and all those weatherworn shacks near the shore seem to blend perfectly into the environment. I can imagine Viking ships long ago approaching these shores and finding a safe, welcoming place to stay.

Before heading further south, we took a quick detour to the town of Saint Anthony. We stocked up on a few provisions, and we spent some time at the local Tim Horton’s to take advantage of its free Wi-Fi. Then we got back on the road and headed south once again. We arrived in a quaint, charming community called Cow Head within the boundaries of Gros Morne National Park. We can't wait to start exploring this area today!

Sept. 9, 2012, 2:23 p.m.

Scouting for Whales by Zodiac in the Great Big Sea

We woke up bright and early this morning

The view from the cottage was awesome, and the weather was perfect for a whale watching adventure. We took off for a quick breakfast at the inn we were staying at, and were treated to great food and company—one thing I was particularly impressed by was the homemade partridge berry jam, absolutely delicious!

We made our way to our whale watching rendezvous, and after a brief introduction, hopped onto a Zodiac and jetted out to a cluster of islands that comprise the most northern tip of Newfoundland. One of these islands is on the exact same latitude as the northwestern coast of Ireland, and in fact was used as a navigational aid in early cross-Atlantic expeditions.

The whales didn’t show today, but we took advantage of the fantastic ocean vistas by taking photos of the roaring, crashing waves and the curious sea gulls. The air feels as clean and crisp as it can ever be, and the ocean feels like a force unto its self under our Zodiac. It’s exhilarating!

Sept. 9, 2012, 2:19 p.m.

The Vikings never left Newfoundland

History back to life.

On a shore, where the common eye cannot see anything other than grass and rivers, through the words of men and women, history comes back to life. The power of images, sounds, music and landscape makes the Vikings more real than ever.

The perfectly dressed actors tell stories of a past Viking village, built to repair vessels and harvest wood. Not a village of warriors, but instead, a safe haven to explore the rest of the coast.

Sept. 8, 2012, 3:29 p.m.

With Every Cloud...

You know those days when...

You know those days when everything seems to go wrong...well, today seemed to be one of them, until I realized that it's just a matter of how you look at it!

We started the day at Deer Lake, a small community on the west side of Newfoundland. Our goal today was to visit the legendary Gros Morne National Park (a must to see, this side of Canada!), then head north along that giant finger of land on the northwest coast of the island known as the Northern Peninsula.

Well, I think our excitement at being here distracted us—or maybe someone switched the road signs as a funny welcome to Newfoundland gesture (no they don't do that here, I'm just being funny!). But we started our trip off by driving in the wrong direction and ending up in sweet, charming Corner Brook. At this point, you may be asking yourself: “where's the silver lining in that cloud?” That silver lining was called 'Sumptin' Fishy,' pretty much the best fish and chips that I've ever had! Not to mention the tasty local specialty of deep-fried pickles.

That's the beauty of adventure travel—sometimes you go off track, but most times you find and experience something that no amount of planning could have prepared you for. Sometimes, it's good to get lost.

Sept. 8, 2012, 1:46 p.m.

Where Distance Finds New Meaning

...take a look yourself

Travelling is so different now that we're discovering Newfoundland and Labrador. I am used to seeing a little city every four or five kilometres in Italy where I come from—here, you can travel for hundreds of kilometres without finding even a little house. Nature is incredible—so vast. We pull into the Valhalla Lodge Bed and Breakfast in L'anse aux Meadows under a veritable curtain of stars like I have never seen before! We are tired, exhausted even, but thrilled to be here. Tomorrow morning, in the light of day, we'll get a better look at what this cabin has to offer. There is no way to describe it...Take a look for yourself.

Sept. 8, 2012, 5:24 a.m.

Watch That Moose

What! How is that possible?! 

We've gone south instead of north. After a quick regroup we try to get our bearings and head back north, this time on the right track to Gros Morne National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. Unfortunately, we get there an hour after the visitor's centre has closed, so we're forced to enjoy the scenery from this vantage point as best we can before going further north. I say forced, but the scenery is simply stunning, the mountains and the vegetation are rugged, and you can sense by everything around you that this is one tough place. We love it!

We continue north, and at this point it's a bit of a losing race with the last available sunlight— constantly seeking out that last sliver of pink red sky—which is simply gorgeous as we drive carefully up the coast. A few hours later we are still driving, now in darkness but with light music creating a mystical ambience, and eating gas station chocolate bars to keep us fuelled.

This is moose country, and we even spot a couple on the side of the road as we drive along. Fantastic, they're huge! Of course, moose country means we drive very cautiously, reducing speed and staying alert for signs of one wandering onto the road—no worries, we're prepared!

It's just after midnight as we pull into the northern-most tip of Newfoundland. We're near a community called L'anse aux Meadows, where the Valhalla B&B is located. We check into a little cottage just a few metres from the shore—this place is going to be amazing in the morning!

Sept. 8, 2012, 5:11 a.m.

Arches Provincial Park

As we made our way across The Rock...

In August, as we made our way across The Rock on route to Labrador for the first half of our Torngat Expedition, we found ourselves along the western shores of Newfoundland, just north of Gros Morne National Park, one of the regions most popular tourism attractions.

Between Parsons Pond and Portland Creek is Arches Provincial Park. We got up close and personal with old limestone formations shaped by generations of waves and tidal flows. 

Once there, one immediately senses the power of one of Mother Nature's most fluid elements. The park also offers a quiet picnic area with great views of rock formations, and makes for a perfect half or full day trip outing.

Sept. 7, 2012, 6:08 p.m.

Back Out on the Land!

Batteries are charged, memory cards are empty...

Hope you’ve been enjoying my Torngat Park Diary online! I can’t wait to tell you more—but it may have to wait for a few days: I’m back out on the great big land of Newfoundland. From Deer Lake, where we flew into, then on to Rocky Harbour and Gros Morne National Park. Batteries are charged, memory cards are empty, and we’re all ready to capture and write about more of what this amazing journey has to offer.

Photo by: Outpost Magazine / Roberto Gibbons Gomez

Sept. 7, 2012, 5:56 p.m.

Oh Blue

I see fields of blue and berries too

The blueberries that litter the ground all over Newfoundland and Labrador might not be the largest, but they are definitely the sweetest and juiciest! 

Any hike up here, like the one we did in the Torngat Mountains and even our day hike with Labrador Adventures, offers up grand opportunities to graze and nibble!

But it’s not just blueberries we were able to pick. We picked raspberries and blackberries too, plump and delicious.

We were almost hoping all these berries might net an unexpected polar bear sighting (they love blueberries!), but unfortunately, no such luck. 

Wait, maybe it was luck...

Sept. 1, 2012, noon

Fly Fishing With Family

On the fly...

Seeing three generations of Labrador fishermen whip their flies onto the water with a fluid, effortless and mesmerizing motion just made me want to take up the sport immediately. It is pure Zen.

We managed to get our casts going nicely, every four or so, but were still a long way from the effortless skill exhibited by the Labrador Adventures’ crew: Melton (grandfather), Carmen (mom), Bradley (dad) and William (the teenager with a kind demeanor and perfect cast!). The geography of the place is jaw dropping.

Alas, to say that the fish we caught were larger than our index finger would be generous. Still, the bite was on, and we’re looking forward to practicing fly fishing again, maybe getting three generations of Labrador fishermen to help us out...

And maybe get something a little larger for dinner too! 

For more info, visit Sea View Cottages and Restaurant

Aug. 31, 2012, 5:12 p.m.

Point Amour Lighthouse

The Point Amour Lighthouse

Being guided by a local makes a trip all the more real and interesting! Carmen, our guide from Labrador Adventures and Sea View Cottages and Restaurant, can even have you stay at the Point Amour Lighthouse!

I mean, where else can you say, “I slept in a lighthouse?” Carmen even made it possible for us to become the lighthouse keepers for a night, it was a unique and special experience we will not soon forget.

The foghorn sounded ominously for an hour or so, as it does when detecting mist or fog. Nothing required on our part—so far, being the lighthouse keeper was easy! We watched for icebergs and ships adrift…yet nothing but the spectacular view of the wild Atlantic Ocean and the setting sun greeted us. It’s not a bad job, we thought, until we learned that one keeper was there for 40-plus years, and that he had ascended the 128 steps (now 132; four were later added for safety) about 10,000 times!

When night blanketed the point, the true essence of Point Amour emerged, and the light shone bright and intermittently—it was absolutely beautiful, a photographer’s paradise, and you can even stay there! 

For more info, visit Point Amour Lighthouse 

Aug. 31, 2012, 4:02 p.m.

The Birches Art Gallery

The carvings of polar bears, Inukshuks, salmon and...

Very Labradorean in style, The Birches Art Gallery is located in a beautiful wood home in Happy Valley Goose Bay. The carvings of polar bears, Inukshuks, salmon and Inuit will take your breath away! Herb, once a teacher in remote communities, has dedicated himself to making these wonderful artists known and exhibited.

The tea and history of the artists he represents was a perfect example of the incredible hospitality of Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans.

For more details visit The Birches Gallery.

Aug. 30, 2012, 4:40 p.m.

Beautiful Cartwright

Where the Vikings used to shore their boats...

Cartwright is beautiful, we’re here with Experience Labrador, who took us to the Wonderstrands (long sandy beaches) where the Vikings used to shore their boats, although not purposefully.

Guided through the fog by compass-like George, we visited abandoned fishing communities and even got a few Puffin photos. I must say though, that those puffins are a fraction of the size I imagined them to be.

See Experience Labrador and Cartwright Hotel for more info.

Aug. 30, 2012, 4:18 p.m.

The Right Whale

the right whale got its name from being...

Our tour of the Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada was enlightening, the Basque whaling community, hailing from the Basque region of northern Spain and southern France, represented the first commercial whalers, and their savvy hunting of the Right Whale made them quite wealthy; so long as they didn't sink or get scurvy!

Interestingly enough, the right whale got its name from being the right whale to hunt. Why? Because it had lots of fat (from which they made oil), it was easy to catch, and it didn't sink when captured. My favourite part of the tour was listening to the stories of a Basque whaler on Saddle Island, he was fabulous in transporting us back to how life used to be in this stunning region.

Aug. 30, 2012, 9:50 a.m.

Pinware River Provincial Park

Fly fishing on the Pinware River.

Fantastic overnight in Pinware River Provincial Park, we enjoyed a cozy campsite right by the river!

The morning began with learning the intricacies of fly-fishing on the Pinware River, thanks to a three-generation fish guide offered by the Sea View Cottages and Restaurant on Labrador's Coast.

 

The salmon mostly run to their spawning grounds in early July, and it's known to be a fly-fisherman's paradise. Then or now, it's a gorgeous place to be.

 

Check out the Sea View Cottages and Restaurant.

 

Aug. 30, 2012, 9:47 a.m.

Onward Battle Harbour

Battle Harbour one of Canada's most historic fishing hubs...

After driving for hours on gravel road we finally made it to Mary's Harbour where we met a photographer named...you guessed it, Mary!

We made it on time to the board the quaint boat that ferried us along to Battle Harbour. A special place on Labrador's luscious coastline, where noted polar explorer Robert Peary, who claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole in 1909, announced that he had done so.

In fact, it was here that Peary called his infamous press conference to make his announcement to the world by accessing Battle Harbour's Marconi Station wireless services.

Our introduction to this wonderful and historic town came via a local, who offered us his very own freshly caught cod. And by having dinner at a long table with everyone who was coming on the boat over.

We're told that in the waters near here, where the Labrador Current and the Gulf Stream meet, there is an abundance of plankton for feeding and that it attracts several species of baleen whales during the summer season. 

Apparently, Humpbacks frolic in the waters near Battle Harbour from June right up until the end of September, but we're also told that Belugas, Minkes, Seis and pods of Orcas are also visitors! 

Now to bed in our rustic island home where there is no Internet. But we're always inReach, thanks to the folks at Roadpost who keep us connected. 

Check out Battle Harbour.

Aug. 28, 2012, 5:43 p.m.

Exploring Southern Labrador

Team Outpost on a road of discovery through Labrador 

Outpost is now in full swing after five days of non-stop adventure. We are now making our way south to Labrador from the Torngat Mountains National Park. Along the route we will not only be checking out a few national parks, but also taking in much local culture and learning a few new skills…like salmon fishing!

From Happy Valley-Goose Bay we make our way down to Cartwright and into Battle Harbour, one of Canada’s oldest harbours, famous for its cod fishery. After a day of touring the historic harbour and old town, we set our sights on Pinware River Provincial Park, where salmon fishing is on the agenda. 

We continue through to Red Bay to visit its National Historic site, then on to the Point Amour Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is the tallest of its kind along the Atlantic and second tallest in all of Canada.

Keep following along and you will learn how to plan your Destination Labrador adventure.

Aug. 27, 2012, 6:46 p.m.

Morning Boat Ride

Thanks Experience Labrador...

Thanks to Pete and George from Experience Labrador for a wonderful morning and boat tour near the Wunderstrands

Aug. 27, 2012, 1:18 p.m.

Canoes, Kayaks and Sails

At the Labrador Canoe Race...

At the Great Labrador Canoe Race on the Churchhill River we met a new and awesome outfitter called White Bear Adventures. Want to learn about kayaking, take up paddling or venture out on a multi-day kayaking trip? Or how about learning to ski-parasail? We also got the chance to play around with some kites today!

Aug. 25, 2012, 4:43 p.m.

Clear skies

 We spent a pretty relaxing time...

Yesterday was a day of fog and rain, so we spent the day relaxing at Base Camp. Looking forward to a window of great weather today so we can grab a helicopter ride into the Torngats with our Parks Canada buddies and get some great footage, and also see another side of the Torngats.

Aug. 23, 2012, 9:26 a.m.

A Bear!

A bear is circling...

A black bear is circling our camp! Got some shots of him standing. Seems to be a teenager. Hopefully he won't be too curious tonight.

Aug. 20, 2012, 9:56 p.m.

Day 5: The Torngats

Resupplied and ready to keep going

Just another hum-drum day. A Parks Canada helicopter brought us a resupply of food. Stunning route through the mountains and now camped in the clouds after travelling over 13 kilometres today!

Aug. 19, 2012, 11:07 p.m.

Day 4: The Torngats

We mapped a route across...

We mapped a route across a mountain ridge line for Parks Canada! Exciting stuff! No record of anyone having ever gone that way before.

Aug. 19, 2012, 10:30 a.m.

Looking Ahead

In search of the Inukshuk

We're truly alone up here with majestic vistas! Looking forward to the next 19-kilometre trek to find the giant inukshuk our guide built!

Aug. 18, 2012, 5:37 p.m.

Day 3, Part 2: Powered by artic char

Powered by arctic char

We are on a 3-kilometre climb up a peak with our fantastic park guide Andrew, who heralds from both Inuit and Australian ancestry! Quite a combination, and a fascinating character.

Aug. 18, 2012, 5:35 p.m.

Day 3: The Torngats

A lake at the top of the world

Camped by a mountain lake at the top of the world and listening to Inuit stories of the great white Nanuk!

Aug. 18, 2012, 5:32 p.m.

Day 2: The Torngats

14km Trek

Trekked 14-kilometres through wild moonlike landscapes! Great guiding by Parks Canada Inuit! Hiked where none have before!

Aug. 18, 2012, 10:10 a.m.

Day 1: Torngat Park

Day one in the Torngat

Day 1: We were dropped off near a black bear, forded a river barefoot, travelled over 8-kilometres and enjoyed the company of millions of bugs as our constant trail companions (dispatch sent via inReach)

Aug. 17, 2012, 6:17 p.m.

At Base Camp

Getting ready

Base camp is amazing and I am preparing to head into the park in a few hours.

Aug. 16, 2012, 6:17 a.m.

Our Plane Awaits

Torngat within reach.

Good morning. After a long ride on a dirt road, I felt like a milkshake in the back of our truck. Finally we are boarding our floatplane and heading for the Torngat Mountains. I can’t wait!

Aug. 15, 2012, 6:21 a.m.

Now it’s Geting Tough!

When adventure calls, Outpost’s Team plays hard!

Tomorrow morning we are expecting a 12-hour-ride to catch our ferry... I’m telling you guys, this isn’t easy! If you are following the tracks on the map you will discover that we are zig-zaging all around to see as much as we can. So stay tuned because the Outpost adventure has just started...now straight to bed!

Aug. 12, 2012, 9:50 p.m.

For Italian Fans

Ok tutto in inglese e magari ci si sente un po’ fuori dal gruppo, ma non è così. Outpost coinvolge tutte le nazioni e tutte le persone con lo spirito libero che vogliono scoprire il mondo, la cultura ed i paesaggi che la meravigliosa Gaia* ha da offrirci.

Come nasce una spedizione? Io direi che è il punto di inizio della mia storia. Una spedizione nasce dalla volontà da parte di organi governativi e non di far conoscere il proprio territorio tramite la promozione di prodotti, attrazioni turistiche e quanto possa invogliare il turismo mondiale o regionale che sia a prendere in considerazione una determinata località. Per questo motivo i media sono attenti a poter dare supporto al ministero del turismo ed agli enti che necessitano di una particolare campagna di comunicazione. Nel nostro caso Newfoundland e Labrador sono le due regioni che hanno concordato di realizzare una massiva campagna promuovendo le attività del luogo, i propri paesaggi, cultura, cibo e quanto possa essere scoperto in questa meravigliosa avventura.
Le Montagne del Torngat sono presenti nel Parco Nazionale del Torngat ed essendo posizionate sulla punta estrema del Labrador, sono la nostra destinazione più a nord.
Nel nostro viaggio avrete visto quanto diversificate siano le attrazioni di questa meravigliosa terra. Attualmente siamo in Newfoundland e grazie ad uno dei nostri sponsor non governativi, ovvero inReach Canada, abbiamo la possibilità di poter avere un localizzatore satellitare per mostrarvi costantemente la nostra posizione. Con questa rivoluzionaria tecnologia abbiamo la possibilità di poter comunicare con chiunque via sms (brevi messaggi di testo, esattamente come quelli di un cellulare). Questa rivoluzionaria tecnologia rende il nostro viaggio decisamente più interattivo e certamente più interessante da seguire. Un esempio è se si volesse raggiongere una determinata posizione per rivisitare una delle nostre avventure, con la mappa messaci  a disposizione da inReach Canada, basta seguire il tracciato presente sulla nostra pagina internet OPxpeditions.La nostra spedizione non solo è sponsorizzata da organi governativi, come detto precedentemente, ma anche da aziende che sono leader nel luogo per una determinata attività. Un esempio la Ocean Quest di Rick Stanley, che mette a disposizione una serie di attività legate al mondo della subacquea, pesca, esplorazione marina, integrando corsi di certificazione, esplorazione di relitti della seconda guerra mondiale. Tra le attività svolte in questi primi giorni di viaggio c’è anche il kayak. Con Stanley Cook abbiamo percorso i fiordi di Cape Broyle una spettacolare esperienza che ti porta ad immergerti completamente nella natura più selvaggia, scivolando dolcemente sulla superficie dell’acqua, in completa sicurezza, si può esplorare la bellezza delle coste, delle caverne e magari se si è particolarmente fortunati ci si può imbattere in balene, delfini, acquile reali, foche e tanto altro.
La mia esperienza in questa avventura è solo all’inizio. Prima di tornare verso il mio ufficio a Toronto, nello spettacolare quartiere di Kensington Market, avrò la possibilità di vedere il nord del Labrador. Ogni persona che abbiamo incontrato sul nostro cammino ci ha detto che queste terre sono qualcosa di semplicemente spettacolare e fin ora lo sono state.
Con questo piccolo riassunto voglio invogliarvi a seguirci, perché continueremo a mostrarvi una terra meravigliosa, perché potrebbe diventare una vostra possibile vacanza, perché ci saranno video in Italiano,... e semplicemente perché questa è una storia che sta nascendo giorno dopo giorno e non mancherà di sorprendervi! Questo è Outpost Magazine!

 

 

Aug. 12, 2012, 5:49 p.m.

Wish Us Luck

Rushing out...stay tuned!

Wish us luck all you followers. We are trying to get some footage with the whales. Amazing!

Aug. 12, 2012, 5:22 a.m.

Water is its Element

TEVA Cherry Bomb 2, magic or technology?

If being outside is your way of celebrating life, if the word weather doesn’t scare you, if you are the type of person that enjoys feeling the water on your skin, well, you will enjoy Cherry Bomb 2 by TEVA. I first tried them while kayaking, and they feel like a second skin, dry and protected from the cold. Stan Cook took us far from that dock and the water wasn’t warm at all, and my feet? I’m not going to tell you...try them yourself, and then tell me!

Aug. 11, 2012, 10:11 p.m.

Ready for the Ocean Quest

The Outpost Team is ready to discover the mysteries of the ocean with our personal guide.

Here we are ready to leave for a ride with Rick who promises to tell us some interesting stories about the war, the mines and the culture of this land. This is a quick one, no time for rest, we arrive and we just have barely enough time to change our clothes and rush to  a Zodiac boat, and off we go. Rick is great, he starts with a story about pirates, treasure and haunted islands. We start feeling the beauty and the mystery of these shores.

Check out Ocean Quest Adventures

Aug. 11, 2012, 9:49 p.m.

Paddling to Humour!

Kayaking with Stan Cook Adventures.

A thick fog rolled into Cape Broyle, giving the sleepy fjord a mysterious feeling. A few kids frolicked by weather worn fishing boats, they eye our bright kayaks furtively. "Hey kids, no playing near the wharf without an adul." bellowed a happy and energetic voice from behind me. It was Stan Jr., the son of the founder of Stan Cook Adventures, who began taking tourists out to dip their paddles in the clear fjord of Cape Broyle in 1970. He was to be our guide, and boy was he jovial and informative! We eyed majestic bald eagles and their chicks, puffins flew by, a seal kept us company and we even explored caves. But nothing could compare to Stan Jr. and Sr.'s friendly banter and interesting stories that made us smile and enjoy our outing. People in Newfoundland must have been born smiling, because everyone is in the best of spirits!

Aug. 11, 2012, 6:08 a.m.

Floating Away

The mighty nature of Newfoundland.

The fog slowly comes toward us while preparing the kayak to leave the dock. The air is warm and we are busy unpacking and getting ready. All the photo equipment has to be safe from any contact with the salt water. This morning the coffee didn’t help much. The big clouds seem like they don’t have enough energy to fly, and so they travel lazily on the surface of the lake. The sun won’t make it through this thick grey fog, but we are ready to go.

The kayak goes smoothly through Cape Broyle, letting us discover caves, waterfalls and wildlife like I’ve never seen before. While my team members are shooting a video, I’m staring at an eagle on the rock above them. Suddenly, the eagle’s wings spread and with a little bounce this amazing bird of prey glides away. 

The rocks and the trees are stunning, and the calm water gives us a chance to slowly float by a landscape that is impossible to describe.

Aug. 11, 2012, 12:06 a.m.

Photography and Beyond

Megapixels, micro-coating, aperture, speed, lens, shutter stop, color profile...all this means nothing without something to shoot.

Photography gets a whole new meaning while you are in a kayak and being overwhelmed by such beauty. Thanks to Outpost Magazine, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, inReach, Parks Canada, Teva, Tourism Nunatsiavut, Destination Labrador and Adventure Canada, all this is possible. Follow us for this amazing adventure that you can make yours, following our path and discovering Canada.

Aug. 10, 2012, 10:38 p.m.

Eyes Wide Open

Is anybody out there?

While I was going through our amazing footage of Newfoundland I found an image that I forgot to publish. I have to say that starting the adventure like this makes it really unique. No gas station open at night and that blinking number on a red background light was the only thing we could focus on. Now that it’s passed, I have to say that I had fun looking at the road and hoping for a sign, for a downhill, something, anything. Well, while you enjoy our adventure I’ll make sure not to leave you alone. Stay tuned, more is coming up.

Aug. 10, 2012, 9:37 p.m.

Close Your Eyes

Prepare your mind to be blown. You will find nothing like this land!

Close your eyes and clear you mind. Now open your eyes and take a deep breath, this is where everything starts, this is where everything will find a new point of view. On our way up here we found many people talking about Newfoundland and Labrador, and the best expression to unite them all is: “Prepare your mind to be blown, you will find nothing like this land!” I am sure that our new follower is right. The second I landed I felt that this adventure would leave something in my mind, and in my soul, that I will save forever!

Aug. 9, 2012, 12:37 p.m.

When Going to Newfoundland and Labrador

When traveling to Newfoundland.

When traveling to Newfoundland you can fly or drive. If you drive, you will have a wonderful experience on the ferry crossing, just like we did :)

Aug. 9, 2012, 10:43 a.m.

Finally

We have landed.

Finally, Team Outpost has landed on The Rock. Out first stop is St. John's where we will take in some of the history and adventures around the city. And who knows, maybe a pint at the end of the day.

 

Aug. 9, 2012, 9:57 a.m.

Keeping Touch

We miss you all, and even if we are far far away, you will always be in reach.

The breathtaking Canadian landscapes are passing out of my window. Not even a cloud in the sky, and a warm sun shining over lakes, rivers, trees and on our road. A soft tune fills the car while we silently feel the tires rolling over the asphalt. I’ve never been a blogger, I feel that my English is not good enough with all these dashes, en-dashes, em-dashes, exceptions and grammar rules that I still have to learn. But it’s a blog, so what if I make a couple mistakes. So what if I make a few mistakes on Twitter, or on the Facebook page, I apologize to all the readers, Facebook fans, Twitters, and “likers”. But Cherine said something so true and so deep. When you are travelling so far and looking at so much beauty, you start missing the important people in your life that aren’t with you in that moment, and that you would love to have right at your side. It doesn’t matter if I make some mistakes because right now all we want is to share this amazing adventure. inReach with an extremely user friendly interface that keeps track of all our movements and gives you the possibility to interact with us, track us and be a little bit closer to us. We miss you all... keep following.

Aug. 8, 2012, 8:36 a.m.

Something ALWAYS Happens

When you step out of your comfort zone and decide to take a different road, that is when life kicks in!

If you guys are following us, maybe you just noticed that our rhythm on the map is slowing down. Well, we are running out of gas. All the adventures have something that slows you down, or makes you take a different path. This is what real life is all about. When you step out of your comfort zone and decide to take a different road, that is when life kicks in!

Now the strange thing is that we should be angry or worried...well, we are, but just a bit. We started to look at that blinking “20 km left” and slowly, that 20 became 15 and now a double dash “- -” scary, really scary. The car is out of gas. The first thing that pops in our minds is to go in search of a gas station. Our technology tells us that we aren’t so far, but better not risk it, it’s really late, so the best thing is to call for help.

The night is simply magic, a beautiful moon is in the sky, framed with thousands of stars. These moments are precious; never let them slip away without saving them in your memory. Suddenly, while Cherine and Roberto were trying to sleep, big trucks pass by roaring on the highway, giving me the possibility to play with the light and the darkness with my camera. After a while a big truck stops and a cowboy comes out. He already knows what's going on, this is his job. He heads straight to the tank and fills it up... (a nice video will follow). A little chat, and a couple of laughs. Roberto hits the gas and the roar of the truck comes out, and here we go.

After eating the driest sandwich ever and filling up the tank we decided to pull over and put up the tents for the night. This adventure just started and it looks like there is going to be a lot of stuff to tell—who knows, maybe someone will make a movie! Well, now it’s really late and I have to sleep. Tomorrow the adventure continues!

Aug. 8, 2012, 12:34 a.m.

First Stop: It's all about the journey

Starting my day.

When you hear about people enjoying a journey, looking at the sky, the landscape, and not just rushing to a destination, when you listen to their stories, the calmness of their trip, the adventure of being on the road with the right music, the right company. When you hear about all this, what do you think? Maybe the first thing that jumps in your mind is that you would love to take the chance to feel the adventure on your skin. Maybe you say to yourself that next summer you'll take the chance. Maybe Outpost's Team will give you that little push to discover this amazing world, its colours, its culture, flavour and taste. Maybe you will follow us closer and see that it is not so hard to discover this amazing world of ours. This is one of our first stops. No need to rush—a good burger, the cable to connect my laptop, and we are ready to hit the road—well almost, I can’t start without my white chocolate mochaccino...by now you should know me!

Aug. 7, 2012, 5:31 p.m.

Ride Packed and Ready

All aboard!

Our bags, and ride are packed and ready to go. We are about to hit the highway to our summer of Adventure Overload in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Aug. 7, 2012, 11:17 a.m.

My Torngat Ride

Are you ready?

We have gone crazy with our ride to the Torngat. Shrink wrapped bumper to bumper by Outpost Magazine. Look out for the Torngat mobile near you.

Aug. 4, 2012, 6:33 p.m.

Learning to Reach

Our new toy!

Just got the new Just got the new inReach Delorme Device to guide our way to and back from the Torngat.

Aug. 3, 2012, 7:14 p.m.